Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/17/12
The Seattle Seahawks are a team to be reckoned with.  If last week’s 58-0 drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals was not enough, the Seahawks proved they are not just a flash in the pan with a 50-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.  In the NFL’s only regular season game in Canada, Russell Wilson took center stage rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for another.  So what did we learn from this game?1. Russell Wilson deserves some consideration for Offensive Rookie of the Year.Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are receiving all the hype, but Russell Wilson is quietly putting together a very solid season for the Seahawks.  His 20 touchdown passes are two ahead of both the first round draft picks, and his passer rating (94.9) ranks No. 7 in the NFL.  If all these respective teams make the playoffs (a very possible scenario at this point), voters will have a difficult decision between this amazing trio and Griffin’s teammate Alfred Morris.2. The Seahawks did not overlook a potential trap game.This was a two-way trap game for Seattle.  They had to overcome traveling from the West coast to the East coast a week before playing the current division leading San Francisco 49ers.Timezone scheduling has become a major issue over the past couple seasons.  West coast teams are claiming that the travel and time difference can be too much to overcome over such a short period of time.  Although this was not an early game, there still has to be a small timezone adjustment playing three hours earlier than the body clock is used to.Despite making upgrades on the defensive side of the ball during the offseason, the Bills have struggled to slow anyone down.  Whether it’s running or passing the ball, teams have been successful against Bills.  With a major test facing the team next Sunday night at home against the San Francisco 49ers, it would have been easy for Pete Carroll and the rest of his staff to look ahead.  This was obviously not the case.3. Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t move the Bills offense.When Ryan Fitzpatrick received a long-term contract extension last season, it appeared Buffalo had their quarterback situation solved for the near future.  Fast forward to 2012 and the front office may be questioning the decision.The seven-year $62.2 million contract makes him one of the higher paid quarterbacks in the league, but his performance has not matched the money.  With the Bills trailing in so many games this season, Fitzpatrick has been in plenty of passing situations.  His 21 passing touchdowns do put him on pace to break his career high (24), but have not been enough to keep Buffalo competitive.The Bills do have some explosive options (C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson) on the offensive side of the ball, but if the quarterback is unable to put the ball in their hands, the team is going to struggle to score.  Is Fitzpatrick still the quarterback of the future in Buffalo?4. Stopping Seattle requires stopping the rushing attack.2012 has turned into the season of the “Game Managing” quarterbacks.  Russell Wilson has been able to fit in this category because of a stingy defense and one of the most powerful running backs in the league.The Seahawks rank No. 4 in the league in rushing yards averaging 152.3 yards per game.  Most of that load is being carried by Marshawn Lynch.  The former Cal Golden Bear has eight 100-yard rushing games this season and has also scored 10 touchdowns.  Wilson’s mobility in and out of the pocket has been a bonus for Seattle.  His 310 rushing yards are second among rookie quarterbacks to Robert Griffin III, but three rushing touchdowns in this game for the young signal caller were the difference.  Wilson became the first NFL quarterback with three rushing touchdowns in one half since Daunte Culpepper accomplished the feat on Sept. 3, 2000.5. Seattle’s defensive rookies are growing up.The Seahawks raised some eyebrows in the first round of the draft when they selected pass-rusher Bruce Irvin No. 15 overall.  Irvin was seen as a bit of a stretch for a first round selection.  The team’s second round pick was a linebacker named Bobby Wagner from Utah State.Irvin, along with Chris Clemons, has been a source of constant pressure for quarterback’s this season.  He ranks second on the team in sacks, behind Clemons, with 8.0.  In this game, Irvin recovered a fumble and put plenty of pressure on Fitzpatrick.Wagner currently leads the team in tackles with 121.  He has also added three interceptions and two sacks to an impressive rookie campaign.  Against Buffalo, Wagner led the Seahawks with 12 tackles.
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